A new era for health services in the East Riding will start next week.
A strong working partnership between the NHS and the East Riding of Yorkshire Council is set to deliver better health services, more locally, for the county’s residents.
The move is part of nationwide NHS reforms which will see the new East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) taking responsibility for planning and commissioning hospital and urgent care services, mental health care and community health care for the local area.
The CCG is made up from 38 GP practices in the East Riding and will control almost 70 per cent of the local NHS budget.
The East Riding has particular challenges with an ageing population and some pockets of deprivation. The CCG wants to promote healthy independent ageing, improve diagnosis and management of dementia and other long-term conditions and increase patient and public involvement in decision-making.
At the same time, East Riding of Yorkshire Council is taking over responsibility for public health from 1 April 2013.
Public health is about helping people to stay healthy and avoid getting ill, so services that will come under the council’s responsibility will include sexual health, drug and alcohol services, the national child measurement programme, school nursing, smoking cessation and health checks for people aged from 40 to 74 years.
One important new development is the establishment of a joint Health and Wellbeing Board, which will be the forum for the council and CCG to discuss services with local partners, including Healthwatch, the new consumer champion for health and social care.
Nationally, people with long-term conditions currently account for £7 out of every £10 spent in the NHS, as well as taking up 50 per cent of all GP appointments, 65 per cent of all outpatient appointments and over 72 per cent of all patient stays on hospital wards.
Both organisations recently discussed their joint proposals and priorities for improving care for older people with long-term conditions with local community representatives at the Working Together – Caring for each Other event..
Dr Gina Palumbo, chair of NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG, said: “GPs have a detailed understanding of the health needs of their patients and their own local area.
“Working more closely with the local authority has allowed us, as health professionals, to focus on a much wider range of issues that have an impact on our patients’ health. This helps the services we commission to be developed with ideas and feedback from patients, carers and the public, giving everybody a voice in the vital decisions that affect us all.”
East Riding of Yorkshire Council already provides a range of services that give the opportunity for improved health and wellbeing, such as leisure centres, libraries and cultural events.
It will now be easier to link these up with work to improve health, for example where people have had a health check and want to take up a healthier lifestyle.
Councillor Jonathan Owen, the council’s deputy leader and chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “We welcome the public health function transfer into the local authority with enthusiasm.
“Local government already influences many areas of our residents’ life through housing, leisure, education, economic development, public protection and many other areas, and linking these with tackling the health of our residents and a range of inequalities will mean a much more joined up and concerted approach and build on the already strong links forged with public health and the NHS as a whole.”
For more information on the Clinical Commissioning Group please visit www.eastridingofyorkshire.nhs.uk.
For information about the East Riding of Yorkshire Health and Wellbeing Board please visit www.eastriding.gov.uk.